Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Etsy Featured Artists - Week of March 24th: Tulips Treasure Box and Octavine Illustration

Happy Easter! Well - I am a tad late getting these fine folks listed. March 24 - March 28 featured Etsy artists are Tulips Treasure Box by Lily and Octavine Illustration by Cara. Read their story, check out their stores and leave comments!

Tulips Treasure Box by Lily: http://tulipstreasurebox.etsy.com/

Vintage bead work at its finest - Lily, of Tulips Treasure Box, creates outstanding jewelry to "bring you back in time" in this modern world. Intricate, delicate and simply beautiful designs, she uses only the best materials in her creations. True wearable art. Lily also dabbles in needle felting, making purses from recycled material and amature photography... What can't she do! Since joining Etsy in December of 2007, Lily is on her way to making a name for herself to bring Tulips Treasure Box into your wardrobe! In her store you will find handmade handbags, vintage items, DeStasch, and much more! Check out the amazing bead weaving talent, of Lily, in her store and find out more about her below!

Question & Answer with Tulips Treasure Box!

Q: Tell me a little about yourself… your background and how long you have been involved in your art/craft/hobby…
A: I am retired. Empty nester of 2, 1 of each. Married to my best friend/hubby. Until about a year ago, I didn't realize I had a creative bone in my body aside from gourmet cooking. I really like to prepare a gourmet meal for the two of us, or with another couple. Working on the atmosphere is as much a part of a delicious meal as the choice of food and presentation. I am a flavor freak, we call it a mouth orgy.I am a newlywed to the arts after landing in a beginners beading class about a year ago. It seems like a turn-off to say, but I have heard and found a lot of artists including myself who got into their art as therapy. Well, I was in the midst of my own nervous breakdown when...and to this day I cannot remember how...I ended up in that first beading class. It was disappointing, but I was hooked on the store that had the class. Oooooh the beautiful beads!

Collecting rocks as a kid, and later as an adult, and sea glass too...I realized I have always had an affinity with nature and stones. Everything fell into place and now that we are empty nesters I have turned my daughters bedroom and bathroom into my own studio...that is so full of arts materials that I don't usually work in there..LOL. I am trying to make a goes of this full time and have been busting my ...you know what... to become successful, pay off the investment (oh boy!), and to provide an income.

During this time I was found in Joann's fabric's, long story short it lead me to a casual, social group called Knit & Bitch at a local, unique yarn shop that is 1/2 yarn shop and 1/2 antique shop. The counter-parts split the space and it makes for a very wonderful, warm and inviting atmosphere. We have snacks, wine, water, chocolate...whatever the shop owner Debra and the attendees provide that particular afternoon/into evening. I never had an interest in knitting, so I would bring my beading and work on that, however the articles that these talented ladies were turning out were so beyond beautiful that I gave in and have started to learn to knit.

In the meantime, I have learned to needle felt, felt recycled wool sweaters and turn them into purses, and recycled t-shirts into green-wise totes. In other words, I am getting spread too thin! Any of this sound familiar?

My entire mindset on art, color, fabric, fiber, jewelry, and so much more has grown. At my age (heading toward 50) that has been a great inspirational emotion.

Q: Where do you get your inspiration?
A: Right now, most of my inspiration comes from other artists, my final work comes as I am working on a project. It can change many times along the way...as I am creating...when viola' I have a finished piece. I have so many projects in my head that it hurts!!!

Q: What mediums are involved in your work?
A: Gemstones, silver, gold, seed beads, crystals, glass, lampwork made by other artisans, natural materials, fibers, old clothing (I use it to recycle into something else), beads, etc.

Q: What would set you apart from your competition?
A: I think most of my finished jewelry pieces are high-end, where so far I either have yet to be discovered, or high-end jewelry on Etsy doesn't sell.

Q: What piece are you most proud of?

A: Probably the bead woven pieces. And more recently, I am involved in my first beading on a special silk. As an amateur photographer, one of my photographs has been transferred onto a special silk and I am beading the picture. If you go to my blogspot, you can read my story on this subject. http://tulipstalking.blogspot.com/

I have been invited to be in a gallery book with this piece, but need to finish it before the 15th...anxiety! Excitement too if it is chosen from the entries gathered.

Q: How do you market your products in and out of Etsy?
A: Marketing...oh boy! Every which way that I can think of and that I hear of! I belong to our local Bead Society, Fiber Arts Guild, participate in art shows that the societies sponsor, business cards, family, friends, I write a weekly column for Everything Skwiggle, as well as host a weekly photo of the week contest, have my own blog, add others to my blog page as well as take everyone up on adding me to their blog...like now! Let's see, what else?

Since becoming a member of the Etsy BeadWeavers Street Team, I have entered their monthly challenges...one of the challenges is going on right now, the first I was in the top 10 for votes our of I think 36 entries. Votes are accepted from anyone and everyone so I send an email with the link to everyone I know and ask them to vote and to forward it to their email contacts.

You have to be unashamed to promote, promote, promote yourself. Oh, I am in the process of developing my own website www.TulipsTreasureBox.com, I am currently adding products.There are the blogs, teams, treasuries, websites, shows, consignment, and so much more I can't think of everything just now.

Q: If I were to ask you – “Where do you see yourself in five years.” – What would you say?
A: 5 years from now, I hope to be honoring all those rungs in the ladder that helped me make my love of what I do into a viable business venture. I feel positive, I have to, and I am scared too that if this takes off I will really need to write to mother nature for a 48 hour day instead of a 24 hour one! LOL

Q: Lastly, tell me something I should know about you – funny, quirky, profound etc. anything you would share with the Etsy community?
A: I asked my husband and daughter to help me with this one, and hubby and our daughter who got here today from out of town where she lives both started laughing...what's up with that?

Let's see, hubby says I spoil our 2 year old dog who sleeps under the covers by my feet, and wears a t-shirt that says "Stalker". She follows me where ever I go and actually sleeps on a pillow, on my desk chair, behind me the 12+ hours I am in front of this computer every day! She also has a bed under the desk where she shares the space with my feet, and a heating blanket on the couch. Italian Greyhounds have little fur. Daughter says if I could bring home a mountain I would because I love rocks so much.

One year we went on vacation to Tennessee. Coming home to Florida taking the short cut through the N. Carolina mountains a freak snow storm hit (when we got home there was a story in our local newspaper about the freak storm). We were driving with a load of very large rocks I'd coveted during our vacation, traveling about 3 miles an hour w/o snow tires, me white knuckled and begging DH to slow down...LOL...watching most everyone swerve off of the roads, when we stopped and hubby made me leave behind about 1/2 of the rocks to take some weight off of the car for safety. I still don't think I am over that!

The next featured artist of the week.....

Octavine Illustration:

All I can say is "WOW" Cara is an amazing artist! She is versed in creating retro images inspired form Art Deco and Art Nouveau movements. She paints/sketches everything by hand, uses old screen printing methods, and prints on archival french paper so you know these will last. In her Esty store - check out the history behind the Moleskine Journal Notebooks she is creating - pretty darn impressive... to think for the past two centuries these have been around... Oh - and if you are a wine lover - she was commissioned by a winery to make a wine label. You will find prints, tee shirts, journals, note cards and aprons in her store. Read more about Cara's impressive talents below - visit her store - you will be sure to learn something new from this Etsy artist!

Question & Answer with Octavine Illustration!

Q: Tell me a little about yourself… your background and how long you have been involved in your art/craft/hobby…
A: I am a calligrapher and illustrator, a font designer and mural painter. I hail from beautiful Portland, Oregon but was born and raised in New Mexico.I began by creating a marriage contract in Hebrew calligraphy for a friend about 10 years ago. As word spread, I began to receive commissions for calligraphy and then illustration work.

Over the years the business has grown and I have calligraphed and illustrated numerous marriage contracts, invitations, public murals, logos, tattoos, concert posters and even a wine label.

Q: Where do you get your inspiration?
A: My inspiration derives from the commercial art produced from the Art Deco and Art Nouveau movements. The need for commercial design was in high demand as industry grew at an exponential rate. Advertisements were executed by hand as the was prior to the advent of computers.

The art produced during this time, although for market purposes, demanded attention. Using organic lines and forms, as well as hand-wrought fonts, art could be found in the everyday; for the masses rather than simply an affectation of the rich.

Q: What mediums are involved in your work?
A: Before I begin a project I look through my design library. Garning inspiration from photographers, illustrators, advertisements and magazines infuses me with creativity and barrages me with ideas. I order boxes upon boxes of ephemera from estate sales on Ebay and simply pour through them when in need of new images, fonts or layout ideas. I have a rather methodical (some may say anal) process in which I must first conceive of the painting or alphabet completely in my head. I then make a loose sketch. Using tracing paper I resketch and resketch and resketch the idea.

Tracing paper is my savior as it allows me to make multiple erasures and even do-overs and then make a direct transfer of my final product. I hate mussing up my fancy French paper with erasure marks and my paint does not take as well once it has been erased upon. After I complete the image and perfect it completely on the tracing paper, I transfer it to the fancy French paper. Then I do a painting. This is a poster size original painting done in gouache (similar to watercolor but heavier pigments give it a matte look). I do all my work by hand, including font-design and calligraphy.

Q: What would set you apart from your competition?
A: I do all my work my hand. I do not use Adobe Illustrator or any other computer program to generate my work. All my prints are screen printed by hand using the old methods. Nothing I do is printed out on a computer printer or such.

Q: What piece are you most proud of?
A: The illustration I did for the wine label. Commissioned by a winery in Walla Walla, Washington to design their label, I recreated the owner’s grandmother as I imagined her in the 1920s

Q: How do you market your products in and out of Etsy?
A: My blog and my flickr:http://www.octavineillustration.blogspot.com/

Q: If I were to ask you – “Where do you see yourself in five years.” – What would you say?
A: Hopefully with a thriving illustration business with many clients. And to be happy. And healthy.

Q: Lastly, tell me something I should know about you – funny, quirky, profound etc. anything you would share with the Etsy community?
A: With the exception of the computer, I essentially live in the 19th century. I do not drive or have a cell phone. I am very easily distracted and need to keep my life simple to maintain sanity. However, I do love relaxing to old lady BBC television productions and reruns of Law and Order.

Thank you to the artists for taking the time to answer the questions and much continued success in the future!


. said...

Wow, wonderful story of living a life in the time of your work. No driving, no cell phone...you truly are aware of yourself, needs, and art.

I really enjoy knowing that your creativity is totally handmade the old fashioned way, and psyced about the wine label. Any hints allowed as to which wine, when & where it will be distributed? It would be awesome to display a bottle with your artwork. And when you are where you hope to be in 5 years...I can say I met you when...

Lily Wrey

Octavine Illustration said...

First of all thank you so much for such a lovely interview. I feel most honored.

Secondly, I want to thank Lily Wrey. Her comments above truly just made my day.

And thirdly, the wine is called Stella Fino.


It is only available in Washington State currently. If you'd like to read more visit the website or my blog post giving further details.


Anonymous said...

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The Burgundy soil is mainly based on oolitic limestone, upon which both the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes flourish. The red wines, made with the Pinot Noir, are more difficult to grow because these grapes are more sensitive to disease or to being badly handled. Towards the south of the region, from around Macon, the soil changes to a reddish granite schist and sand of the Beaujolais. Here, the Gamay grape flourishes, making excellent red wines, many of which are drunk while they are young.

If you have not been to Burgundy, try it. It is a great part of France to visit for a holiday. Alternatively, stay at home and simply drink and enjoy the wine.
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